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Nominated: Mary Gonzalez and 7 Other Incumbent House Democrats Clear Primary Challenges on March 4

by: Joseph Vogas

Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 11:30 AM CDT

Rep. Mary Gonzalez was one of eight Democrats to secure re-nomination to the Texas House last week
While twenty-two races for the Republican nomination to the Texas House concluded last week, eight Democratic nominations wrapped, as well. Only one incumbent Democrat, Craig Eiland, decided not to seek re-election and only one Democrat filed to replace him in the 2014 election. Two other incumbent Democrats lost their primaries last week. The eight other incumbents who faced primary challenges beat challengers, all by wide margins.

Highlighting the group of victors is freshman Representative Mary Gonzalez a Burnt Orange Report endorsed candidate, of El Paso County's District 75. When elected, Gonzalez was the first member of the LGBT community to be elected openly to their first term. Challenging her was Rey "Coach" Sepulveda, a former member of the Fabens school board. While Sepulveda had held elected office in the past, he ran a lean campaign; raising just over $1,000 for the entire race. Gonzalez, who was named the Mexican American Legislative Conference's Freshman of the Year, breezed to victory with 68.88%. No other candidate filed for House District 75, so Rep. Gonzalez was re-elected to a full term, by default, on March 4.

Rep. Gonzalez was not alone in beating back Democratic primary challenges. Learn more about the seven other victors after the jump.

House District 36, Rep. Sergio Muñoz wins re-election with 76.56%
Sophomore Representative Sergio Muñoz was one of five Democrats to support the special session's anti women's health HB 2. This is primarily why he was challenged in the Democratic primary by Mari Regalado, Burnt Orange Report's endorsed candidate. Muñoz faces no further electoral challengers and was, by default, re-elected on March 4.

House District 77, Rep. Marisa Marquez wins re-election with 66.42%
Incumbent Marisa Marquez was a target of many progressive Democrats because of her 2012 support of Republican Dee Margo over the eventual winner, Democrat Joe Moody in House District 78. Despite the aid given to her challenger, Burnt Orange Report endorsed candidate Lyda Ness-Garcia, Marquez won by a larger margin than she did when she was challenged in the 2012 primary. Marquez faces no further electoral challengers and was, by default, re-elected on March 4.

House District 79, Rep. Joe Pickett wins re-nomination with 84.43%
Joe Pickett, the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety, earned some serious strikes against him this last session when he allowed several pro-firearms bills out of his committee and supported HB 2 in the special session. However, challenger Chuck Peartree was not the alternative Democrats deserved. Pickett won by a very wide margin and will face a Libertarian challenger in November.

House District 109, Rep. Helen Giddings wins re-election with 87.70%
Helen Giddings did not have much to worry about from Genevieve Gregory. Gregory never filed a campaign finance report and does not appear to have ever had a website. Giddings, the Burnt Orange Report endorsed candidate in the race, faces no further electoral challengers and was, by default, re-elected on March 4.

House District 110, Rep. Toni Rose wins re-election with 57.21%
Freshman Representative Toni Rose, a Burnt Orange Report endorsed candidate, beat former Dallas Councilwoman Sandra Crenshaw by a respectable, but unimpressive margin. Crenshaw was declared ineligible to run due to residency requirements and raised very few funds to compete. Rose faces no further electoral challengers and was, by default, re-elected on March 4.

House District 131, Rep. Alma Allen wins re-election with 88.66%
Alma Allen enjoyed the widest primary victory for any Democrat in 2014. Her opponent, Azuwuike Okorafor, raised few funds to compete against the incumbent, a Burnt Orange Report endorsed candidate. Allen faces no further electoral challengers and was, by default, re-elected on March 4.

House District 145, Rep. Carol Alvarado win re-election with 85.46%
Carol Alvarado faced a challenge from frequent candidate Susan Delgado. Delgado had an unfortunate, public fallout with the now-deceased Sen. Mario Gallegos and decided to take her private grievances out in multiple public campaigns. Alvarado, a Burnt Orange Report endorsed candidate, faces no further electoral challengers and was, by default, re-elected on March 4.

See a complete list of who is running for Texas House in our Burnt Orange Report Texas House Candidate Tracker.

You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.

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Do not republish without express written permission.

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